Thursday, January 23, 2014

All Around the Web - January 23, 2014

Albert Mohler - Evolution Is Most Certainly a Matter of Belief—and so Is Christianity
One of the most misleading headlines imaginable recently appeared over an opinion column published in USA Today. Tom Krattenmaker, a member of the paper’s Board of Contributors, set out to argue that there is no essential conflict between evolution and religious belief because the two are dealing with completely separate modes of knowing. Evolution, he argued, is simply “settled science” that requires no belief. Religion, on the other hand, is a faith system that is based in a totally different way of knowing—a form of knowing that requires belief and faith.

The background to the column is the recent data released by the Pew Research Center indicating that vast millions of Americans still reject evolution. As the Pew research documents, the rejection of evolution has actually increased in certain cohorts of the population. Almost six of ten who identify as Republicans now reject evolution, but so do a third of Democrats. Among evangelical Christians, 64% indicate a rejection of evolution, especially as an explanation for human origins. Krattenmaker is among those who see this as a great national embarrassment—and as a crisis.

Michael Bird - New Documentary Movie – The Jesus of Testimony




Thom Rainer - 11 Things I Learned From Pastor's Wives
  1. The number one challenge for pastors’ wives is loneliness. That issue arose again and again. Many of these ladies have no true confidants. Some have scars from bad relationships. More than a few have experienced depression. Some still are.
  2. These ladies need to know they have the love and support of their husbands. Some frankly feel that their husbands have a mistress – the local congregation he serves. A pastor’s wife can endure much if she knows of her husband’s unwavering and repeatedly articulated love.
  3. A pastor’s wife does not want a church member to tell her what her “job” at the church is. She would rather serve the church according to her gifts and calling, not according to some false sense of expectations.
  4. She would like church members to understand that neither she nor her family is perfect. Allow her to make mistakes. Let her children be “normal” children. Don’t call out family members every time one of them does not quite reach perfection.
  5. The pastor’s wife does not want to field complaints from church members about her husband. She is not a conduit or a complaint desk. She loves her husband, and it breaks her heart to hear negative things about him. 
  6. The pastors’ wives who entered ministry with no forewarning about the issues they would face were the ones who stressed the most. It’s not only the issues themselves, it’s the surprise factor they often bring. Many of these pastors’ wives had no idea what some members would say, what some expectations would be, or how much the glass house syndrome is a hard reality.
  7. She does not want to be told she needs to work to support her husband and family. If she chooses to do so, that is fine. But she does not want church members paying her husband minimally with the expectation that she will make up the shortfall in income.
  8. While most pastors’ wives affirm their identity as a wife in ministry, they do not want that to be their only identity. Many of these women spoke about their ministry, work, and gifts well beyond that of a pastor’s wife. They would like to feel free to express their own identities.
  9. Many pastors’ wives believe they need training for their roles. They have been both surprised and ill prepared for the issues that came their way. They needed either formal training or an informal mentorship to face all the challenges that are common with a pastor’s wife.
  10. These ladies want to be reminded again and again to keep their focus on Christ.  Of course, this reminder is something we all need. But as one pastor’s wife expressed, only by remembering what Christ did for her could she face the challenges of her role.
  11. Many pastors’ wives want a means where they can support one another. Some of them longed for a mentor or someone they could mentor. Others said they would like a forum like my blog where they can share with each other without the fear of reprisal. I wonder if I can do something with the resources I have available to make this request a reality. Let me know.

John StonestreetFifty Years into the War on Poverty
Fifty years ago last week President LBJ declared a “War on Poverty,” which had good intentions, but a bad strategy. The government has only one weapon for this war: a check. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And, to a government check, all poverty looks like a lack of money.

But most poverty in America isn’t, and wasn’t, financial. Most poor children in America are victims of relational poverty, familial poverty, moral poverty, or all three. As the government was fighting poverty with checks, divorce rates were skyrocketing, along with out-of-wedlock births and cohabitation.

Government just can’t understand and remedy the diverse life situations in which people find themselves. But charities, churches, civic organizations, and volunteer groups are both more nimble and more effective.

TIME Magazine - More Than 11 Million Young People Have Fled Facebook Since 2011
Skeptics of Facebook’s business model have long pointed to anecdotal evidence that the social network is losing its luster with teens as evidence that the firm will ultimately be unable to justify its $140 billion valuation. Indeed, even Facebook itself admitted last fall that it had lost younger users. “”We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens,” Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman said during a call with analysts.

But it’s always been difficult to gauge exactly what the magnitude of this lost interest has been. On Wednesday, the digital consultancy iStrategy Labs released a study that draws from Facebook’s Social Advertising platform to glean exactly how many young users have left the social network in recent years. The resulting estimates are pretty staggering. According to iStrategy, Facebook has 4,292,080 fewer high-school aged users and 6,948,848 college-aged users than it did in 2011.

I really enjoy this song by Switchfoot on the Prince Caspian soundtrack called "This is Home."


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